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Added complexity: when more than one country's laws impact divorce

Getting a divorce in Georgia and elsewhere in the United States can range from being quite quick and easy to being complex and protracted. Getting one that involves the legal red tape and complications of more than one country, though, can be a headache few dissolutions domestically can relate to.

Many marriages have to address divorce in more than one country for a number of reasons. One or both of the married individuals may be a dual citizen or a non-American citizen. Sometimes the couples are American but living abroad at the time of the divorce.

When this happens, it introduces a number of factors that can render things comparatively complex and sometimes difficult. Financial obstructions, cultural differences, jurisdictional issues and other legal red tape all threaten to make matters harder to resolve.

Not only that, but some of these factors can affect the outcome of the divorce itself, particularly in regards to child custody and property division. Few statistics exist to delineate the prevalence of dual citizenship and divorces involving multiple countries, but experts insist it's a growing phenomenon.

And some divorces can turn downright nightmarish if extreme measures like parental kidnapping take place. In those cases, the challenge is not just securing a divorce but also making sure that the parent's move abroad does not restrict the rights and opportunities of the one remaining domestically.

When couples are facing a divorce that involves multiple countries, location is a key consideration. If they are currently living abroad, they may want to weigh the benefits of filing for divorce abroad or domestically.

Georgia natives also need to determine what requirements are in place for filing a divorce in the United States. You will likely need to move back to the country, but determine what other qualifications need to be met. This prior research will be invaluable in minimizing the friction resulting from an international divorce.

Source: Reuters, "Divorce in two countries is double the trouble," Geoff Williams, Oct. 24, 2012

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